Thursday, October 15, 2009
Waste Land Trading!!!
Howdy, I am just getting home after attending the “Empty Bowls” benefit for the Manatee County Food Bank. It was well-attended, very successful and a lot of fun! I ate some soup, did some schmoozing and came home with an awesome bowl! I will do my best to write a recap of the event on this here blog tomorrow! I covered it for the newspaper, too, so I need to see what they end up using, plus time is super limited and I want to post another trade. I am going to manage to get through the entire day without posting any more ’78 Topps cards-I can’t make that same promise tomorrow, but it is coming to a very good ending, trust me. So, over the past few months I have received a number of trade packages from Justin who lives in nearby Largo, Florida. Justin runs a blog with a super cool name, its called “Is This A Wasteland-No It’s Tampa Bay Sports”-you can find it at http://tampabaysportswasteland.blogspot.com/ and if you have ever spent any time at all watching sports in this area, that title will make total and complete sense to you… Anyway, Justin and I have traded quite a bit, but up until now it has been totally one-sided. He has sent me a ton of cards from MY want lists, covering 2008-2009 Topps Heritage, Allen and Ginter and random Rays cards, but I was never able to return the favor. We collect the same things-Rays cards and Orioles stuff including Brian Roberts. I am a greedy guy and it’s hard for me to part with cards of my fav teams and players. Another thing that I have felt badly about is I’ve never really posted any of the cards that he has sent me. Maybe it was guilt from all the unreciprocated trades we’ve done, but more likely it was because most of the stuff he has sent me was super anticipated cards from my want lists that I couldn’t wait to get in their respective binders. Well, I am trying to be a more responsible blogger and trader, now. Plus, thanks to one of my “Trade Bait” posts, I finally had cards that he wanted and we are finally even. This makes me feel much, much better. I feel terribly guilty when I owe people cards. Anyway, this time around he also sent me a card that went straight to the binder, but it paused at the scanner for a moment, first. It is the FINAL short print that I needed for my 2009 Allen and Ginter set! It is card #312 of AJ Burnett, hired arm of the New York Yankees. I am a bit iffy about posting a Yankees card on the first day of the playoffs, but I posted Rays cards all season long and that didn’t help them win! I got the other two SPs (Curtis and Cameron) that I needed in the mail on Monday from a reader-THANK YOU!!! Now, my Ginter binder has 349 cards in it. Everything that was promised has finally arrived; I actually have all of those cards in my possession! I do still need one more base card and anyone reading this is more than welcome to send it my way. It is card number 222. Justin also sent along 13 cards from the 2003 Topps set. I had almost no cards from this issue up till now and I really like the look of this set. The bold, bright blue borders on the base cards are sweet-looks similar to the blue parallels in this year’s Topps Chrome. I wish my stupid scanner was actually able to capture the coolness of the color… Included in the lot were Joe Kennedy, Ben Grieve, Esteban Yan, Greg Vaughn, Ryan Rupe, Toby Hall, John Flaherty, Mark Malaska and current Royals pitcher Doug Waechter. He included a gold parallel, serial numbered Esteban Yan and an Opening Day card of Carlos Pena from his Detroit Rock City days. There is also a Future Stars card of two All Star outfielders in Josh Hamilton and Carl Crawford. From the oddball department is a free I-Tunes download card included in Bowman Sterling with Evan Longoria on the front. It’s plastic and credit card like and it reminds me of the phone card cards from the early 90’s. As is customary for me, I saved the best stuff for last. As I mentioned in the intro, Justin is a resident of the proud sports Mecca that is Tampa Bay and he is also a frequent flyer at Tropicana Field. He is also aware of my Tampa Bay Rays autograph quest. The original parameters of the quest required the autographs to be on card of the player in a (Devil) Rays uniform. This has turned out to be pretty difficult and beggars can’t be choosers, so here we go! This is a 1997 Topps card, #443, of my favorite original Devil Ray, Quinton McCracken. The card is signed boldly across the bottom front in sharpie, and you can see, Q actually has a legible signature! Justin got this during the Inaugural Season at the Trop and hung onto it for 12 years before sharing the wealth, thank you so much! He didn’t stop there either; this next one was the jaw dropper for me… The Q card is awesome, but Q was a fan favorite who was friendly with the fans, so seeing an in-person autograph of him isn’t so much of a shocker. This final card is from the Upper Deck Vintage set, card number 77 of former Rookie of the Year, All Star and fav of the Night Owl, Hideo Nomo. I hate that the card is of Nomo on the Red Sox. A Devil Rays card would have been ideal, a Dodgers card would have been cool, but I really don’t like the idea of having a Red Sox card in my display case, BUT it is an autograph of Hideo Nomo, so I guess I must make exception. He did have a stellar year for Boston in 2001. He pitched a no-hitter in April-I think it was the first Sox no-hitter in like 30 years or so, and he went on to lead the AL in strikeouts, so I guess its okay. I had always understood that Nomo was nearly impossible to get autographs from, so I was super shocked with this one. I asked Justin about how he got it and he told me the story. It was at a Devil Rays fan fest where all of the players were required to sign autographs at a table for a half-hour or an hour. He did say that Nomo was pretty standoffish. He probably also had a line a million fans long. Three years ago I arrived at the preseason Fan Fest late and when I got on the field where players were signing I saw two LONG lines. Lines of more people than I had ever seen in the Trop at one time and I asked someone who was signing-thinking it had to be Carlos Pena or Scott Kazmir or someone big. I was told that it was Pete LaForest and Greg Norton. No joke. Our fans might not ever pack the seats to go to games and cheer for our team, but they do know how to show up anywhere you can get something for free. That said these two autographs are awesome!!! I have gathered up over 60 autographs on cards so far and thanks to rad people like Justin, that number is getting bigger every day. Thanks so much for the great trade my friend!!! Thanks to anyone who read this. Tomorrow will hopefully bring a short write-up on the Empty Bowls fundraiser and hopefully there will be one more big post about 1978 Topps. It’s a good story and once it is told, the ’78 stories will be relegated to the brand new blog… http://1978topps.blogspot.com/ - Please check it out, I will start posting cards next week. Thanks again to Justin, you rock my friend!!! Many more awesome trades to post… Ed, Beardy, Mike, Alfredo and Jim-you guys are coming up very soon! Go Angels! Go Dodgers! Go Bombers!!! There is a Bombers bout this Sunday-is anyone coming out? Off to work, gotta run! Troll out.